The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Halie ADrid

The Spatial Experience

Constans Theatre, outside

The Constans Theatre is located in the newly redone Reitz Union, and the theater is beautiful. I absolutely love plays (except for this one), and was so ready to see this play. The theater itself is very nice, and made me more willing to like the play. The location helped the me realize that nice buildings, and nice atmosphere is what I personally want. That is my Good Life.

The Social Experience

Empty lobby of the Constans Theater

My social experience attending the performance was a bad one. Not one that was worse than normal; I'm just sure everyone had a bad social experience. I attended the performance by myself, because nobody wanted to go to this play. To get ready, I put on a jacket because it was cold. I didn't get fancy by any means. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life is wholly irrelevant to my experience at this play. Usually, I would like to do things that I like with people that I like. However, that was not this case. That is my Good Life. Good experiences with good people.

Also, I feel that the Talk Back falls under the Social Experience category. The Talk Back was by far and away the worst part. Nobody stayed for it, nobody participated in it, and the actors seemed like they didn't want to be there (except for one overzealous actor that thought the Talk Back was genius, and that the kids actually cared about his play).

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Myself in front of a poster and an box office sign with incorrect information because, though it says the box office opens 45 minutes prior to shows, it indeed does not. Rather, the box office opens 15 minutes before the show and you showing up 45 minutes early just means that they'll yell at you to put your backpack in the coat storage room even though you need your ID that is in your backpack to swipe your Gator One, and you can't yet swipe your Gator One because the box office is not open.

The most culture I learned from this play was understanding Sarah Bernhardt's struggle. I watched a play about a play about a play. Easily confusing, I think. I knew absolutely nothing about the subject matter before attending the performance. I went in with an open mind. The play addresses sexism and how, in this specific case, the Catholic Church banned Sarah Bernhardt from performing in a scandalous play. The common folk were shielded from the lies the Church was telling, and Sarah Bernhardt and her crew attempted to overcome the atrocities. The play showed how wrongly things can go if not everything is said. I suppose I can connect this to my own life, because I absolutely despise when information is kept from me. Secrets do not promote productivity, and the oppression of the commons does not allow for change for the good.

The Emotional Experience

The end, when Ben Sanders decides to come clean and face his demons is easily the definition of katharsis. Sanders (the audience assumes) that he does achieve happiness, that he achieves his Good Life. The audience may see a parallel in their own life, compared to Sanders's life. They may have their own issues that need to be addressed, and it may inspire the audience to do so. The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt absolutely allows for katharsis, and I couldn't see a more perfect reason that an individual could experience katharsis than after seeing this play.


Created with images by Dieter_G - "curtain stage theater"

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